Petrol and diesel prices rose sharply again on Friday reaching new all-time high levels as oil marketing companies decided to break the pause in revision of auto fuel prices to bridge the widening under recovery.
Accordingly, the pump price of petrol increased between 22-25 paise per litre across all major metros on Friday while diesel price increase ranged 23-27 paise per litre.
With this, petrol is now priced at Rs 85.45 a litre in Delhi as against previous days price of Rs 85.20 a litre. Similarly, in Mumbai petrol price increased to Rs 92.04 a litre, a 24 paise increase from previous days price of Rs 91.80 a litre. In Chennai and Kolkata, petrol is now priced at Rs 88.07 and 86.87 a litre respectively, registering an increase of 22 and 24 paise per litre from the previous day.
Diesel on the other hand faced sharper increase, rising by 27 paise a litre in Mumbai from previous days' level of Rs 82.13 a litre to Friday's retail price of Rs 82.40 a litre. In Delhi, diesel rose 25 paise per litre to Rs 75.63 a litre, in Chennai by 23 paise per litre to Rs 80.90 a litre and in Kolkata by 26 paise per litre to Rs 79.23 a litre.
The increase in retail price of auto fuel came on a day when global crude prices showed some signs of softening declining by less than one per cent to close to $ 55 a barrel. Crude prices have remained firm for the last couple of weeks in the wake of unilateral production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and a pick up in the consumption in all major economies globally.
The increase in the petrol and diesel prices is the third such revision this week. The auto fuels had risen sharply by 25 paise per litre each on Monday and Tuesday before the OMCs decided to give relief to the consumers from frequent price rise for the last two days.
With Friday's revision, the pump price of petrol and diesel has now increased by Rs 1.74 and Rs 1.76 per litre respectively in January so far with OMCs' deciding to break an earlier longer period of pause increasing the retail prices for the first time this year on January 6. The price had been raised on six different days since then.
The last few increases in pump prices in petrol and diesel has taken its price to record levels across the country in all major metro cities and other towns. The last time the retail price of auto fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018 when crude prices had shot up up $ 80 a barrel.
The current price rise is largely on account of the steep increase in the central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices.
Petrol price was very close to breaching the all-time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs in the month. The price rise started again only on January 6.
Oil companies' executives said petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with the global developments to prevent OMCs from making losses on sale of auto fuels.